Thursday, 18 March 2010

Indian clubs


I've had some 3 kgs steel indian clubs for a few weeks now and have been practicing with them on a regular basis. I got them online from some sort of Finnish fitness shop, where they are called "voimakeilat" (power clubs/skittles, ugh! ridiculous name!) More recently, I've been watching a DVD by Pete Kautz which shows some fundamentals of club use for martial artists, in Pete's case, particularly those who practice Bowie knife fighting. Interestingly, in the DVD Mr. Kautz doesn't show much in the way of club swinging, but pointing with the clubs instead, in conjunction with footwork in order to develop core structure, joint strength, balance etc.

There are LOADS of vids on youtube showing different methods of using clubs, from wee 1 or 2lb ones to whopping great 50lb meels! Some good, some not so good. One thing I have concluded from the last few weeks practice is that 3kg clubs are too heavy to start with. I think i'll try to get a 1.5 kg pair instead and build up to occasionally using the heavier set. Another is that using the clubs isn't necessarily about developing wrist flexibility, at least NOT with heavy clubs, that way lies injury. I guess the question that needs to be asked is what you want to train for.

If you want wrist flexibility and mobility with some conditioning then light 1 or 2 lb clubs are probably best. Pete Kautz reckons 5lb clubs are his upper limit and even for a longsword wielder, these should be more than sufficient. He also reckons it's less about the actual weight and more about their leverage. If however, you wanted to develop a bit of mass, core strength, balance, etc. for something like wrestling or abrazare, then perhaps heavier paired clubs, or a really heavy single club might be more appropriate. Horses for courses!

So, it all depends on HOW you use them. Swinging from the shoulder or elbow is ok, the wrists stay straight, e.g. in exercises know as "mills". The swings can be powered by driving from the legs and hips. You can get an idea of some exercises from these videos:


I like this dude. I hope to be in as good a shape when I'm sixty! Twist and cast, an dhave a blast! :-)

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